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Julia Jones as a child, steering Peter Duck, the boat bought from Arthur Ramsome that inspired his classic Swallows and Amazons.
When Julia Jones was three years old her parents bought Peter Duck, Arthur Ransome’s former yacht. Julia slept in the place that had been designed for Ransome to store his typewriter and it wasn’t long before she was reading her way through the Swallows and Amazons series. Boats and books have been part of her life ever since. As an adult she founded and ran a village bookshop and developed a local publishing list for older readers. She became close friends with Joyce Allingham, sister of Essex detective novelist Margery Allingham, and has written and edited three biographical works connected with the Allingham family with the fourth, Fifty Years in the Fiction Factory, scheduled for publication in 2012. The Salt-Stained Book was her first novel for younger readers and is also enjoyed by adults. Followed up by A Ravelled Flag, the Strong Winds trilogy is concluded with Ghosting Home, out in July 2012. Julia has five children and lives in Essex and Suffolk with her partner, Francis Wheen. In 1999 they re-purchased Peter Duck.
CLICK HERE to read an article by Julia Jones, which was inspired in part by Arthur Ransome’s sailing adventures and in particular by Peter Duck, the boat which she was brought up on and which had previously been owned by Arthur Ransome.
One of our Books of the Year 2013. December 2013 Book of the Month Inspired by the historical events of the Battle of Sole Bay which took place off the coast of Suffolk in 1672, author Julia Jones weaves a modern day adventure story, full of pace that will be enjoyed by young and old alike. It's half term and three teenagers find themselves caught up in what can only be described as one hell of a thriller that by turns is terrifying and yet also heart-warming. With a terrific storyline that can be read on different levels, it weaves historical fact into contemporary adventure, and hooks you in whatever your age and surprises you at every turn. The characters, both teenagers and adults, so disperate and yet so compellingly drawn that they work seamlessly together inspite of their differences and their different agendas within the story. A real tour de force that will be devoured whether you're a keen sailor, an armchair boat enthusiast or simply eager for entertainment. And the historical lectures at the end of the book are well worth a read either before or after reading the novel for they truly put the story into context. Julia Jones is the author of the fantastic Strong Winds trilogy and some of the characters from these books feature in The Lion of Sole Bay....but you don't need to have read this trilogy first - The Lion of Sole Bay is very much a stand alone adventure story. A note from the Author, Julia Jones, Essex 2013 Luke, who is the hero of this story, has already appeared in other titles in the Strong Winds series. This, however, is his own adventure and there’s no need for you to have read any of the previous books before you set out with him through the woods to the creek on the night of Halloween. Luke has lived in Suffolk all his life but, at the beginning of this story, he knows almost nothing about the Battle of Sole Bay which took place off the Suffolk coast in 1672. If you know as little as Luke (or as little as I did before I began my research) you might like to read the series of lectures contributed by our mutual friend Mr M.W. Vandervelde. They are at the back of this book and can be read at any time – or not at all. Mr Vandervelde is so full of enthusiasm for his subject that he admits he’s often given his talks to a row of chairs in an empty hall or even to his wife’s collection of garden gnomes. Suffolk people will notice that many of the places in this story are using older, alternative names. The tide times, stages of the moon and the weather in this story are correct (+ 24 hours) for October/November 2010.
July 2012 Book of the Month. This thrilling conclusion to the Strong Winds trilogy is an action-packed adventure set in and around the east coast of England and the North Sea in which 14 year old Donny, the protagonist in each of the two earlier books, The Salt-Stained Book and A Ravelled Flag, together with friends and family unearth some illegal organisations and find themselves caught up in something highly suspicious and mysterious including smuggling and human trafficking. Their lives are in grave danger particularly when it appears the local Inspector, a bully of a policeman, is at the heart of it all. Cleverly interwoven with Donny's story is that of a young boy who leaves China to search for his mother in England. The boy's story is an utterly gripping one that is by turns both harrowing and heart-breaking. Can Donny, by intuition, stealth and incredible sailing skill bring the guilty to justice, save the young boy and find his mother? Although each of the three books stand alone, together as a trilogy they give you a wonderful reading experience for anyone aged 10 right through to 110 particularly if you are a sailor or even an armchair sailor! The Strong Winds trilogy is one not to be missed. The Strong Winds Trilogy consists of: The Salt-Stained Book A Ravelled Flag Ghosting Home CLICK HERE to read an article by Julia Jones, which was inspired in part by Arthur Ransome’s sailing adventures and in particular by Peter Duck, the boat which she was brought up on and which had previously been owned by Arthur Ransome.
The story of 14 year old Donny and his new found friends that began in The Salt-Stained Book continues in this gripping sequel. Donny's long lost great Aunt has arrived from China on a boat and rescued him and his mother from the care system. Her gorgeous boat Strong Winds (a Chinese junk) becomes their home but it's not long before Donny and his friends and family are caught up in yet more dark, intense and suspense-filled action and adventure that is cleverly interspersed with Chinese tales from great aunt Ellen's life and a good dose of wit as well. It's a great read. Volume three Ghosting Home was released in Jun 2012. The Strong Winds Trilogy consists of: The Salt-Stained Book A Ravelled Flag Ghosting Home CLICK HERE to read an article by Julia Jones, which was inspired in part by Arthur Ransome’s sailing adventures and in particular by Peter Duck, the boat which she was brought up on and which had previously been owned by Arthur Ransome.
In a nutshell this is Swallows and Amazons for the 21st century but with a modern twist. It really is a very special book that will be enjoyed by the whole family, particularly all those who have any experience of sailing or who love adventure and mystery. With a terrific page-turning plot and a group of kids you'll really admire and warm to we believe you'll be hooked to this trilogy from the beginning. And, as Griff Rhys Jones said when he got his paws on a copy, 'I loved it'. The second in the Strong Winds trilogy, A Ravelled Flag, is also available and we have an exclusive extract on Lovereading4kids for you to read as soon as you've read this one. The concluding part of the trilogy, Ghosting Home was released at the end of June 2012. CLICK HERE to read an article by Julia Jones, which was inspired in part by Arthur Ransome’s sailing adventures and in particular by Peter Duck, the boat which she was brought up on and which had previously been owned by Arthur Ransome.
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